Why Time Capsule doesn't have Firewire800?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Dias, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. Dias macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hi guys

    Do you guys have any idea why TC doesn't have Firewire800? It's an Apple's standard, supported by every MBP but apparently not sexy enough for the only external storage with an Apple logo on it. I don't get it. :confused:
     
  2. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #2
    Because it is a network drive, you don't connect it directly to your computer.
     
  3. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    #3
    USB has more than enough bandwidth for anything that can be shared over a network. You won't gain any speed by using Firewire.
     
  4. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Wait, I can't physically connect it to my Mac? Even with USB? :confused:
     
  5. Jon-Luke macrumors 6502

    Jon-Luke

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    #5
    Funny I was reconnecting my external drive to my airport today and I was thinking exactly the same thing (although over wifi, even with wifi-n I doubt there is much difference between FW800 and USB 2.0)
     
  6. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    #6
    No, why would you think you can connect it to your Mac directly?
     
  7. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #7
    I would regard it as a bit of a waste, most because transferring things through your TC to a connected drive is slow as molasses. From what I've been hearing, sync speeds over gigabit won't reach 20 MB/s, which is near to the max of USB2, but not fast enough to make FW useful. Besides, FW is a 'premium' connection, if the Late 08 Macbook wasn't good enough for one, then I doubt a lowly NAS box is.

    I don't even think the Drobo has a FW800 port.
     
  8. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8

    I'm not talking about Firewire400 here.

    Firewire800 is on a completely different level than USB2.0, more like eSata.
     
  9. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #9
    No you cannot, the only way to connect it to your computer is Ethernet or wireless. It is primarily a Wireless router that also has network storage capabilities.

    The USB port is a Female A type plug that can only be used to attach a printer or a USB hard drive for expanded capacity.
     
  10. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #10
    No, it's a router with a built in hard drive. The USB port is for attaching external hard drives and / or printers.
     
  11. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Hmm, I guess I was a little bit confused about TC purpose.

    I was thinking about it this way: 500Gb for TM, 500Gb for fast external wireless hd that you can connect physically in for better performance.
     
  12. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    So ok, what happen when I connect TC to my Mac using Ethernet? Does it work like any other external hd? What are (real world) performance? :)
     
  13. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    #13
    This entire post is completely untrue. Please delete it.

    First of all the Drobo has a FW 800 port. Only the first gen didn't have one.

    Second, it is not Ethernet that is slow, but Time Machine. Also, it is the hardware of the network devices which limit the connection, namely the processors. Hard drives also don't reach much higher than 50-60MB/s under normal use (for 7200RPM drives, slower for a 5400RPM drive in the TC) which is right at USB 2.0's maximum rate of 60MB/s (480Mb/s).

    Third, the MacBook has a Firewire connection. Only the unibody MacBook from late 2008 didn't have one.

    Fourth, Firewire isn't "premium", it just isn't standard. Due to this, you pay a "premium" for it.

    Don't double post.

    It will show up as a network drive in Finder. You are likely to get around 30-40 MB/s for file transfers and under half of that for Time Machine backups.
     
  14. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #14
    You can connect to it physically using an ethernet cable, which is quicker than connecting over wi-fi and recommended for the first time you run a Time machine backup.
     
  15. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #15
    Clearly why I pre-referenced that statement with 'I think'. But thanks for clearing it up.

    I never said ethernet was slow. What I said that the 'sync' was slow, or the actual backing up process. It is true about the processors slowing down the process but only in the TC itself. If you read the reviews of all other NAS solutions online, they'll have roughly the same bottleneck at the box itself. The tiny processor can only handle so much AFP (which isn't the most efficient network protocol) and most TM backups involve many small files which never translate to high copy speeds.

    For 7200rpm drives, that is a conservative speed (esp. in regard to the newer drives) but I digress. USB2 will never reach 60MB/s. I've never even seen it hit anything above 30 MB/s when copying data to a freshly wiped 1TB drive. It is simply the way USB protocol works, in bursts of up to 480mbits/s, but only sustains less than 240mbits/s in the real world.

    I should've made myself clearer, but it is in fact my point. Apple somehow dropped Firewire from a product that costs far more and would have more use for FW than the TC. Why would it want to include it in the TC?

    I didn't say "premium", I said 'premium'. Placing things in single inverted commas means that it isn't meant to be interpreted as literal. So somehow, you reiterated my point.
     
  16. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #16
    Exactly - that is why you don't need FW.
     
  17. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #17
    It is nowhere near the speed of FW though.
     
  18. sammich macrumors 601

    sammich

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    #18
    I think we're a little off track here. The OP is asking why the TC doesn't have a faster connection like FW800 because he would like an external drive that is faster than what the TC currently offers from its internal drive.

    It would TOTALLY defeat the purpose of having the Time Capsule if you were going to simply connect it to your computer directly with Firewire.

    The throughput of the TC hardware is the limiting factor. The internal drive should be faster than whatever you can/would connect externally.
     
  19. adamk77 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #19
    USB 2.0 has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 480 mbps. In practice, you never see those speeds. You see around 200-250 mbps.

    Firewire 400 has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 400 mbps, but in practice, it is faster than USB 2.0 because of its architecture. It's anywhere from 30-70% faster than USB 2.0.

    I ran some benchmarks on my 5400 RPM internal drive and the read/write speed was around 377-400 mbps. There's some overhead associated with Firewire 400 too, so it will not reach its theoretical limit of 400 mbps.

    If you want the bus to be the bottleneck, you'll want Firewire 800.
     

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